Onboarding Sports Facility Staff in a Flash: 3 Tips for Sports Tourism Venue Operators

Grand opening for sports facility

One of the most memorable events in the life a sports, recreation, events, or entertainment complex is the grand opening. This event is often both a community’s opportunity to celebrate a new asset and a moment for key stakeholders to celebrate their hard work – often years in the making. For facility operators, it may be the first time that their skills are truly put to test in a new venue and their leadership, procedures and policies, and customer service training, among other items, are on display for all to see.

While the event is often planned for months prior by the facility owner, General Manager, Marketing Director, and Facility Manager, part-time and coordinator-level employees may be much newer to the facility. In fact, the grand opening might be their first or second day on the job. As representatives for the business, brand, and owner, it is critical to get these team members up to speed to ensure the grand opening event (and all events after) are properly executed.

Who’s who?

Sports tourism facilities often employ 8-10 full time staff members and 20+ part time team members. New staff may not know who’s who, nor who to go to if an issue arises. Include a clear and concise accountability chart in your onboarding packet. Similar in structure to an organizational chart, this document outlines not only the hierarchy of the employees (with name, job title, etc) but includes 3-5 bullets on their core responsibilities. Be sure to include who to contact to book tournaments, reserve a party room, report a malfunction in the bathroom, or register a guest compliment (or complaint).

State the facts

It’s tough for new employees to memorize the ins-and-outs of the business in a short time, especially in a day or two. During the grand opening, thousands of guests will be streaming through the facility and will undoubtably have a wide variety of questions. Prior to the grand opening, create a pocket-sized FAQ sheet for all employees to carry. Include hours of operation, prices, upcoming programs, website url, phone number, location of bathrooms, booking instructions and any additional information that guests might ask. Provide each team member with a few business cards for key staff members to give out in case of a booking or reservation inquiry.

Mission & History

From concept to concrete, grand opening day has been years in the making. Each new staff member should be made aware of the history of the project, key stakeholders, and the mission so that they can re-tell the story to anyone who should ask. Make the story short and sweet so that it’s easily memorized and repeatable; it should be consistent across the team.

And finally, after teaching the sports complex management team about the key information about the business, spend time on the brand values so they know the how in addition to the what. Give clear examples of how the values should be demonstrated – from greetings at the cashier to picking up trash in the parking lot to assisting guests with questions or concerns.

The team at Sports Facilities Management has experience opening hundreds of premiere facilities throughout the United States. We develop creative solutions that ensure you not only meet revenue and economic impact goals, but that your facility delights guests and creates greater access in your community. To leverage the power of the SFM Network, contact us today at 727-474-3845.